ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - Joe Flacco turned 34 years old in January and has thrown 5,670 regular-season passes in his previous 11 years' worth of games in the NFL, yet both he and the Denver Broncos believe he's got plenty left to give for a team thirsting to end a three-year playoff drought.
Though the trade to acquire him was largely in place for weeks, Flacco was formally introduced Friday as the Broncos' new starting quarterback. And Broncos president of football operations/general manager John Elway said Flacco was "a perfect fit for us" and "has a lot of good football left in him."
Elway also said he believed Flacco still has prime seasons to play.
"It feels good because I definitely feel that way, so it feels good to hear somebody say that," Flacco said. "I mean, shoot, with Tom Brady, quarterbacks are playing until they're about 60 years old. Listen, I'm as healthy as I've ever been ... barring anything crazy happening, I am as healthy as I can be, as physical and ready to go as ever. I'm excited about what lies ahead for me and the future, and I'm not putting a number on how much longer I can play. I'm going to play as long as I can, and hopefully they're dragging me out of this building a long time from now."
The Broncos acquired Flacco from the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for a fourth-round pick. Flacco had opened 11 seasons as the Ravens' starter -- he was the team's first-round pick in 2008 -- before being displaced as the starter by Lamar Jackson nine games into the 2018 season after Jackson had been the Ravens' first-round pick last April.
Flacco is now the fifth starting quarterback for the Broncos since the start of the 2017 season. The Broncos traded Case Keenum, whom they signed to a two-year deal last April, to the Washington Redskins shortly after acquiring Flacco.
Keenum had never been a team's unquestioned starter to open a season until last year for the Broncos. And while the Broncos had shown plenty of enthusiasm at Keenum's potential when they signed him a year ago, their 6-10 finish in 2018 had Elway looking for an experienced hand to settle an offense that finished 19th in the league in yards per game and 24th in points per game.
"Hopefully [Flacco] is the guy to help get this turned around," Elway said.
Elway said he believes that Flacco's arm strength and ability to "make all the throws" will give the Broncos the ability to push the ball down the field far more and that Flacco can work under center as part of a play-action passing game as well as in the shotgun.
The Broncos will run what they feel is an updated version of Gary Kubiak's scheme on offense -- Broncos offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello has been Kyle Shanahan's quarterbacks coach with the San Francisco 49ers -- and Flacco had his career-best 27 touchdown passes in 2014 when Kubiak was the Ravens' offensive coordinator.
Asked Friday what he believed would constitute success with the Broncos, Flacco said:
"Winning football games," Flacco said. "Listen, I've been in the league long enough to know success is nothing but winning football games. I don't care if you're a young team, if you think you're rebuilding, you go win six, seven, eight games, that's not success, I don't care what the expectations were from people ... at some point everybody's expectations are to win games and go to the playoffs."